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Undergoing fertility treatment can be an emotional roller coaster for both you and your partner. The whole process can be incredibly draining, and can put immense strain on even the most solid of relationships. This is why counselling can be so beneficial during and after IVF treatment.

Counselling givs you the opportunity to express how you feel about your treatment, how it's affecting you, and its implications for your future. It's particularly useful in cases involving donated sperm, eggs, or surrogacy arrangements.

IVF counselling can help you come to terms with unsuccessful fertility treatment, and help you focus on the future. It can also help address the anxiety and depression that infertility treatment often causes.

Counselling sessions will typically last for an hour, and you should see the same counselor each time to help develop a relationship. However, if you don't feel comfortable with the counsellor assigned to you, don't hesitate to ask for a replacement. To get the most from a counselling session, you must be relaxed and at ease with the person sitting opposite you. Otherwise, it can be little more than a waste of time.

Many clinics will include at least one or two free counselling sessions as part of their overall IVF package. However, you will be required to pay for appointments after these initial sessions. Prices can very considerably between clinics so always check before agreeing to a group of sessions.

If your fertility clinic of hospital doesn't offer IVF counselling, you should contact the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA). The BICA aims to promote high quality, accessible counselling for anyone with fertility problems. For more information, visit their website

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